Communities that can no longer afford to educate their own children; while the inner cities, that provide free government subsized daycare for parents that they don't pay enough and that they do all in the name of failing test scores which don't seem to go up even with the longer day. The question is did anybody in society ever care about these kids before? And what made them have a sudden change of heart?
IRENE, S.D. (AP) — When the nearly 300 students of the Irene-Wakonda School District returned to school this week, they found a lot of old friends, teachers and familiar routines awaiting them. But one thing was missing: Friday classes.
This district in the rolling farmland of southeastern South Dakota is among the latest to adopt a four-day school week as the best option for reducing costs and dealing with state budget cuts to education.
"It got down to monetary reasons more than anything else," Superintendent Larry Johnke said. The $50,000 savings will preserve a vocational education program that otherwise would have been scrapped.
The four-school week is an increasingly visible example of the impact of state budget problems on rural education. This fall, fully one-fourth of South Dakota's districts will have moved to some form of the abbreviated schedule. Only Colorado and Wyoming have a larger proportion of schools using a shortened week. According to one study, more than 120 school districts in 20 states, most in the west, now use four-day weeks.
The schools insist that reducing class time is better than the alternatives and can be done without sacrificing academic performance. Yet not all parents are convinced.
"The kids are going to suffer," said Melissa Oien, who has four children in the school and serves as vice president of the parent-teacher organization. "Of course they will. They're missing a whole day of school."
The downsizing comes as schools in some larger cities are moving in the opposite direction. In Chicago, school officials hope to add school days so students will learn more and have better employment prospects.
Complete story here: http://www.nationalmemo.com/article/back-school-four-days-week